Nate Makes Landfall, Follows in Path of Katrina
But he largely spares New Orleans, weakens to a tropical storm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2017 5:33 AM CDT
Captain Ashley Johnson, left, and Wayne Hall, right, work to secure the boat "Jeraline" in preparation for Hurricane Nate, expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Bayou...   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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(Newser) – Hurricane Nate came ashore along Mississippi's coast outside Biloxi early Sunday, the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm hit early Sunday with maximum sustained winds near 85mph but weakened later to a tropical storm as it moved inland, the US National Hurricane Center said. As of 5am EDT, Nate was centered about 80 miles north-northeast of Biloxi and moving north-northeast near 23mph. At one point, Nate's eye moved over Keesler Air Force Base, where the National Hurricane Center's hurricane hunter planes are kept. Nate came ashore Saturday night along a sparsely populated area in southeast Louisiana, reports the AP, with winds pushing water onto roads and knocking out power. But Nate didn't have the intensity other storms—Harvey, Irma, and Jose—had during this busy hurricane season. No deaths or injuries were reported.

As the midnight high tide approached in Biloxi, a storm surge from Nate pushed over the beachfront highway of US 90 onto the peninsula that makes up the city's eastern edge. Water kept going several blocks deep into the area. "It kind of surprised us," Mike Kovacevich, who lives two blocks north of US 90, told Biloxi officials. "We didn't expect to be this deep." Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall on the Mississippi coast on Aug. 29, 2005, leveling cities and buckling bridges. "This is my first hurricane," said one new resident of Belle Fontaine Beach. "So far, it's kind of a fizzle." Nate passed to the east of New Orleans, sparing the city its most ferocious winds and storm surge. Its quick speed lessened the likelihood of prolonged rain that would tax the city's weakened drainage pump system. Forecasters called for 3 to 6 inches with as much as 10 inches in some isolated places.

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